Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

RE: Dallas Cowboys roof collapse

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

This would have to be your shortest post ever! I actually got to the end of it. 1st time!

It is not for us to determine if engineers are competent. Or to tell consulting engineering companies which members of their staff can use different design tools.

In my opinion, your suggestions below are a continuation of the downhill slide of the engineering profession and humankind in general. Gross over-regulation of our every possible detail of everyday life (and no I am not laissez-faire in my politics in any way). Big Brother making sure we do not trip over our own feet. Engineers are supposed to be trained to be engineers. If they are not properly trained by universities or their employers it is not my fault.

In my experience, a reasonable number of engineers around the world purchase software or use tables/charts because they do not understand the background theory. To avoid having to learn how to do it, they think software will do it for them automatically and save them time and money. There are a lot of engineers who can produce a design. But that does not make them good engineers. To some,  an RC design is simply Ast = M / x / y / z. A good engineer understands what he is doing with design, the background theory and the effects of different parameters on design. That an engineer does not understand this is a failure in the system, not software or table/charts.

Most of those people will not use RAPT as it requires them to make all of the design decisions, so they must understand what they are doing to use it. RAPT will never produce a result that has inadequate strength for what is modelled (not in the last 24 years at least), so, as long as the model correctly represents the member being designed and the designer uses all reinforcement defined in the output and heeds all warnings given, he/she should end up with a member that will perform adequately under all strength and serviceability requirements of design codes and give them a good idea of how much it will deflect. Yes, you can produce a bad design with it. But you can with a calculator and pen also.

If the user cannot do that, they should not be designing. Again, that is not my fault.

At 02:38 PM 30/06/2009, you wrote:
Can anybody buy RAPT?
Just wondering, since it seems anyone can buy structural analysis software. But the software for energy rating of houses (FIRSTRATE ?) can only be bought by persons who pass through a course for the software. And output of the software is only accepted for regulatory approval, if output signed by a registered user.
And not talking about qualified HVAC engineers performing an energy efficiency check, or anyone else who may understand the climate models used. Just someone who has completed a short course on use of the software. The Australian way: create legislation to sell products which otherwise have no market.
Has RAPT ever considered restricting sales to qualified structural engineers (eg. NPER(structural)), and requiring completion of a short course. Or does it rely on the regulatory system to pick up misuse of the software. When the regulatory system fails then what? Or does the software have a flash screen requiring the user to acknowledge responsibility for the results before they proceed?
All products when released into the market place have the potential to be used for purposes beyond the expectations of the designers. The designers still tend to be held responsible. It is thus imposed upon designers to forecast potential modes of failure, and variations, and provide features which minimise the hazards resulting from misuse. Noting that all products are simply raw material to someone somewhere.
So to be extreme. For RAPT to be quality robust, only competent structural engineers should be able to use it. Compare child proof medicine bottles: inconvenient for everybody, people most in need of medication cannot open, especially the elderly. Thus structural engineers have to suffer some inconvenience if want the benefits from off-the-shelf software.
Conrad Harrison
B.Tech (mfg & mech), MIIE, gradTIEAust


South Australia


Regards  Gil Brock
Prestressed Concrete Design Consultants Pty. Ltd. (ABN 84 003 163 586)
5 Cameron Street Beenleigh Qld 4207 Australia
Ph +61 7 3807 8022               Fax +61 7 3807 8422
email:            gil(--nospam--at)
email:            sales(--nospam--at)
email:            support(--nospam--at)